Lessons from Training Early Head Start Staff to Implement an Evidence-Based Parenting Intervention

Myae Han, Rena Hallam, Jason T Hustedt, Jennifer A Vu, Juana Gaviria-Loaiza


The purpose of this study was to understand the process of implementing Promoting First Relationships (PFR; Kelly, Zuckerman, Sandoval, & Buehlman, 2008b), an evidence-based parent-child interaction intervention, into an Early Head Start (EHS) home visiting program.  This study documented seven home visitors’ early experiences with intervention implementation, specifically preparation and training on the intervention, overall adaptation to use of the intervention, challenges and issues identified during implementation, as well as recommendations and suggestions for sustainability of PFR within the EHS program. Data were collected via semi-structured individual interviews. We employed a constant-comparative method and a systematic coding process. Findings indicate that overall, home visitors reported an alignment between the intervention content and their own philosophies, a belief that implementing the intervention improved their home visiting practice, and a sense that participating families benefited from the experience. Some negative experiences were identified in relationship to the lengthy training process and changes in home visiting practice.  Major challenges involved learning about intervention content and household issues. Recommendations for sustaining the intervention in Early Head Start are also reported.


early head start;parenting intervention;home visiting; implementation

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This journal is a publication of the NHSA and the CEME at UNC Charlotte.